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Overview of MCEER's New Center Approach

A Message from the Director

Group photo of participants at MCEER's Annual Meeting

Participants at MCEER's Annual Meeting pose for a group photo outside the University Inn and Conference Center in Buffalo.

Over the past year, MCEER has been active in refining its NSF-supported research and education activities, and expanding the strategic partners network. These activities have been influenced by many factors, including the attack on our nation last September 11, which has provided new opportunities to develop disaster resistant communities. In June, MCEER organized a plenary workshop (co-sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems) to bring together experts in blast engineering to meet with specialists in earthquake hazard mitigation and the emergency response community to determine areas of mutually beneficial and cooperative research. This is a new area of multidisciplinary cooperation, and MCEER looks forward to the research opportunities that may develop.

On another front, we have comprehensively examined and modified our research agenda, industry partnership program and research management structure. This has resulted in a revitalized Center-wide strategic five-year plan. The plan includes a refined mission statement: "to enhance the seismic resiliency of communities through improved engineering and management tools for critical infrastructure systems and emergency management functions by developing advanced knowledge and technologies through integrated team efforts."

Photo of Douglas Taylor, of Taylor Devices, making a presentation.

Members of the new Industry Advisory Board made presentations during the industry day segment. Shown above is Douglas Taylor, Taylor Devices.

Other highlights of this new approach include the creation of an Industry Advisory Board (IAB), comprised of architecture, engineering and manufacturing firms and government agencies, which will provide input to the MCEER Executive Committee in developing research tasks. The board is chaired by Gary Hart, Hart-Weidlinger Division of Weidlinger Associates, and the members are listed below.

This past March, MCEER hosted its annual meeting for researchers, students and industry participants. The meeting provided MCEER's management team with an opportunity to present the new Center approach. The meeting included an industry day segment that allowed IAB members to make presentations to all the attendees and a poster session for student researchers.

The first joint meeting of the IAB/MCEER Executive Committees was held at the annual meeting in March. As a result of this meeting, specific research activities were identified as key to the achievement of MCEER's strategic plan, and corresponding task statements were requested from researchers who could contribute to the plan. In April, these statements were evaluated using a new prioritization matrix approach, and the result is the Year 6 research program. More details about the new five-year plan (for years 2002-2007) can be found on our website at

--George C. Lee, Director


Industry Advisory Board Members

John Abruzzo, The Thornton-Tomasetti Group

Jefferson W. Asher, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Edward Bortugno, Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Paul Bryant, Mitigation Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Mohammed Ettouney, Weidlinger Associates, Inc.

John Gillengerten, State of California

Thomas H. Hale, State of California

Gary Hart, Hart-Weidlinger Division

Paul Hough, Armstrong World Industries, Inc.

Saif Hussain, SHA Coffman Engineers, Inc.

Roy A. Imbsen, Imbsen & Associates

Jeremy Isenberg, Weidlinger Associates, Inc.

Thomas Jung, Bureau of Architectural and Engineering Facility Planning

Mary Kerns, Enidine Inc.

Young-Suk Kim, Unison Industrial Co., Ltd.

D. Stanton Korista, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP

David Lee, East Bay Municipal Utility District

Peter Lee, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

R. Jay Love, Degenkolb Engineers

David K. MacLeod, Cannon Design

Jon Mochizuki, City of Los Angeles

Anoop Mokha, Earthquake Protection Systems, Inc.

Pat Moyer, Dynamic Isolation Systems, Inc.

Nobuo Murota, Bridgestone Corporation

Jean-Robert Pierre, Transenergie Hydro Quebec

Daniel Scorza, City of Los Angeles

Glenn Singley, City of Los Angeles

Ellis Stanley, City of Los Angeles

Douglas Taylor, Taylor Devices, Inc.

Ronald Tognazzini, City of Los Angeles

Christos Tokas, State of California

Thomas Whitlow, Memphis Light, Gas and Water

Michael Willford, ARUP




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